Banks flip flop

Auckland City Harbour News - - Letters - MICHAEL WOOD Mt Roskill

Mayor John Banks came to power promis­ing “af­ford­able progress”. Based on the Auck­land City Har­bour News ar­ti­cle on May 28 about the $57 mil­lion Rugby World Cup spend-up that coun­cil is plan­ning, one has to as­sume that Mr Banks doesn’t un­der­stand the mean­ing of ei­ther word.

At a time when house­holds are tight­en­ing their belts, and we are told by the coun­cil through the draft an­nual plan that the city can­not af­ford des­per­ately needed li­brary and foot­path up­grades this year, how does a mas­sive spend-up of $57m fit the def­i­ni­tion of af­ford­able?

Even more ques­tion­able is how this move con­trib­utes to the city’s progress.

For a frac­tion of the $57m, sig­nif­i­cant in­vest­ment could be made in Auck­land’s foot­paths, li­braries, parks, and lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties.

Spend­ing in th­ese ar­eas would con­trib­ute far more to Auck­land’s long-term progress than a one-off se­ries of rugby-themed par­ties in 2011.

What is most galling to me as a ratepayer is that Mr Banks and the Cit­i­zens & Ratepay­ers coun­cil came into of­fice promis­ing re­straint and mod­est coun­cil spend­ing on the world cup.

Now that they are in power their pri­or­i­ties seem to have com­pletely changed.

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